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Free Skype Client Lands On the iPhone

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 5 years ago | from the not-just-build-it-and-they-will-come dept.

Iphone 150

CNet is reporting that a free Skype client will finally be landing on the iPhone this week. Unfortunately some are saying that it seems many of the "critical" pieces of functionality are still missing. While the Skype engineers claim their native client will offer better audio quality (because there is no need to route through another server and transcode audio) they are still missing text messaging, file transfers, and integrated voice mail. Since the iPhone does not allow for multiple programs running concurrently, many are expecting existing multi-function apps like Fring and NimBuzz to continue their reign at the top.

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Iphones can only run one app? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27391111)

Is this a limitation of the OS or the hardware?

Re:Iphones can only run one app? (4, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#27391237)

It's an arbitrary restriction and only applies to third-party apps. The aim is to avoid third-party apps draining the battery by doing a lot of things in the background, or preventing other things from working by using all of the RAM (the iPhone doesn't enable swapping, I believe).

In theory, this is a good idea. Unfortunately, the whole philosophy of the iPhone is that Apple knows better than the owner of the device (which is probably true in the case of a lot of the users...) so there is no way of overriding this.

Re:Iphones can only run one app? (1)

linzeal (197905) | more than 5 years ago | (#27391279)

You mean the iphone does not have a command line, weak! BTW, does android have a CLI?

Re:Iphones can only run one app? (2, Informative)

mdm-adph (1030332) | more than 5 years ago | (#27391339)

Does if you root it.

(Which is easy and takes about 15 minutes and no I'm not going to provide a link. Google is your friend. :P)

Re:Iphones can only run one app? (1)

AndrewNeo (979708) | more than 5 years ago | (#27391603)

This is partly in agreement with my (brother?) post, but the iPhone also has a command line, if jailbroken.

Re:Iphones can only run one app? (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 5 years ago | (#27392149)

android has a CLI, sort of. Some older releases had a little problem where everything you typed was also interpreted by the command line. Oops.

Re:Iphones can only run one app? (4, Informative)

omeomi (675045) | more than 5 years ago | (#27391295)

(the iPhone doesn't enable swapping, I believe).

That is correct. The iPhone's virtual memory model does not include swapping.

Re:Iphones can only run one app? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27391809)

looks like they took that straight out of the PalmOS philosophy.

Re:Iphones can only run one app? (0)

jfanning (35979) | more than 5 years ago | (#27391719)

Yeah, and it is a steaming pile of sh*t. Not enabling multitasking is just another stupid "Apple knows best" ploy. Don't buy the company line. Read this. Look, everyone, Multitasking does work after all! And has been doing so for a decade and a half! [allaboutsymbian.com]

Re:Iphones can only run one app? (2, Informative)

intheshelter (906917) | more than 5 years ago | (#27392713)

It's not that it can't be done, it's that it sucks battery life. Did you view the presentation from the iPhone 3.0 event? They ran tests on running background apps on multiple platforms and measured battery life, it it shortened it by 80%. Considering how much MORE iPhone users seem to use their phones this could be a major problem and why they chose not to enable background apps.

Re:Iphones can only run one app? (1)

FictionPimp (712802) | more than 5 years ago | (#27392193)

No way of overriding it without quickpwn or some other jailbreaking tool.

After that you just install backgrounder and all is well.

Re:Iphones can only run one app? (3, Insightful)

BikeHelmet (1437881) | more than 5 years ago | (#27392887)

iCall [icall.com] has been available on the iPhone for about a half-year now. (apparently in beta)

It integrates seamlessly with the iPhone. Those skype guys are behind. :P

Re:Iphones can only run one app? (4, Informative)

omeomi (675045) | more than 5 years ago | (#27391281)

iPhones can run multiple apps, but the public SDK does not allow developers to write apps that run in the background. Apple can certainly write apps that run in the background, though. The music service, for one. The phone service, etc. Additionally, developers for jailbroken phones can run applications in the background because they're not constrained by the official SDK.

iPhones only run one app at a time for a reason (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27391129)

Steve Jobs can only have one dick in his ass at a time. He thinks it should be the same for the iPhone.

Just like everything else with Apple, it all comes down to gay sex.

Re:iPhones only run one app at a time for a reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27391163)

A computer and/or operating system has nothing to do with sexual orientation.

Re:iPhones only run one app at a time for a reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27391399)

True! Most people, regardless of sexual orientation, can only have one dick up their ass at any one time.

Re:iPhones only run one app at a time for a reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27391897)

I suggest you google double penetration for a free education.

Re:iPhones only run one app at a time for a reason (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27391853)

False! A computer and/or operating system have lots to do with sexual orientation.

Fact: Gays love Apple products. Therefore, since gays love Apple products, use Apple products, the product line and subsidiaries are all geared towards or heavily influenced by the Gay Agenda.

hate to say it (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27391175)

But as someone who just recently rebooted his windows mobile phone [once a week just to make sure it's all honky-dorry] ... the iphone seems like all sorts of fail.

Admittedly I joined the data-phone craze WAY late, but I've been able to run multiple programs, copy/paste, run third party apps [like google maps that wasn't supplied by my provider] since day 1.

While I'm not normally a MSFT advocate, I really think there is more value in a windows mobile phone than an iphone... Seriously, no copy/paste?

Re:hate to say it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27391243)

When the latest version of the iPhone OS was announced, I read through the list of features that are now available, and realized I had every one of them on my Blackberry.

And then I read the list of stuff that still wasn't going to be available, and again, I had all of it already. I never realized how much the iPhone sucked.

Re:hate to say it (2, Interesting)

FictionPimp (712802) | more than 5 years ago | (#27392253)

We are doing a test rollout of blackberries, iphones, and windows mobile devices.

I get blackberries brought to me regularly because they are screwed up or the person does not know how to do what they want to do. I have not had a single iphone or windows mobile device brought to me.

Re:hate to say it (4, Insightful)

donny77 (891484) | more than 5 years ago | (#27391417)

It depends on what you are looking for. I got a Windows Mobile phone because i wanted office integration. I tried using the web browser for playing, I've used Google maps. I sync e-mail using Intellisync software.

After a little over two years, I'm ready for an iPhone. Why? The Internet browsing experience is better. I rarely use the office apps. I use Word to jot notes down, I can use the appropriate program on the iPhone for this purpose. I tried using Excel, the cell size is so small it is practically useless. With an iPhone I can VNC my desktop and use Excel from their on a largers screen with zoom functionality. That's better than my WM experience.

Copy and paste is coming and it's the only feature I'd really want. Tethering is again coming. MMS I could care less about personally.

Re:hate to say it (1)

dunkelfalke (91624) | more than 5 years ago | (#27392139)

you also can use remote desktop on your windows mobile device. works like a charm. i run firefox that way because the cpu in my desktop is way faster so the pages render faster.

Re:hate to say it (1)

SmurfButcher Bob (313810) | more than 5 years ago | (#27393089)

Yep, sad to say... your (stated) reasons fail.

Browsing, while slow as death using Minimo, works fine in a crisis. But make no mistake - browsing on any handheld will suck donkey balls, simply due to real estate.

Every other feature... I can manage every aspect of a 4 rack, 21 server farm with 94 workstations, along with a 20 slot Option21 PBX, from anywhere on my PPC. I have VNC, RDP, Putty, remote regedit, whatever. I even have reverse-RDP, so a desktop can "remote desktop" my PPC. I had my iPaq3900 acting as an AP to bridge an aircard connection back in... wait for it! 2002! Bluetooth PAN bridging, voice-rec, TTS, whatever... no one cared then, and they don't care now.

It's great that iPhone is getting some of these neat features in 2009. It's pathetic that people think they're new, or of merit. You know, 2001 called. They want their nearly decade-old feature-set back.

Re:hate to say it (1)

ameyer17 (935373) | more than 5 years ago | (#27393107)

Seriously, no copy/paste?

iPhone OS 3.0 allegedly will have copy/paste.
Not that it shouldn't have been added in one of the first 16 public builds.

If so won't last long (2)

HartDev (1155203) | more than 5 years ago | (#27391179)

If this is so it will not last long, AT&T will make sure of that in the States.

Re:If so won't last long (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27391227)

shut up

Re:If so won't last long (1)

HartDev (1155203) | more than 5 years ago | (#27391261)

Easy buddy, everyone is entitled to an opinion.

Re:If so won't last long (3, Insightful)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 5 years ago | (#27391321)

Unless you're a carnie

Re:If so won't last long (1)

HartDev (1155203) | more than 5 years ago | (#27391539)

Yeah that makes sense, if I am big into Linux and Open Source would that make me a carnie?

Re:If so won't last long (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27391345)

shut up-a with the shut up-a

Re:If so won't last long (1)

CompMD (522020) | more than 5 years ago | (#27391833)

Its funny, I've had a full featured Skype client running on my Windows Mobile powered HTC Apache on the Sprint network for a few years now. And I can use the 3G connection for Skype calls. Why people keep going crazy about the iPhone is completely beyond comprehension.

Re:If so won't last long (1)

ihavenonickers (585370) | more than 5 years ago | (#27392867)

Its funny, I've had a full featured Skype client running on my Windows Mobile powered HTC Apache on the Sprint network for a few years now. And I can use the 3G connection for Skype calls. Why people keep going crazy about the iPhone is completely beyond comprehension.

Be fair, the HTC Skype only allows speaker phone usage or a bluetooth hack. This lets you actually hold the device, well, like a phone

Why, iPhone already has other VOIP apps (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 5 years ago | (#27392073)

I think some of the Apple Hater froth around your mouth got into your eyes, as you seem to have missed the fact that the iPhone already has other VOIP clients - just not an official Skype client until now. AT&T doesn't care a whit, these all work over WiFi.

Re:If so won't last long (4, Insightful)

Firehed (942385) | more than 5 years ago | (#27392311)

It only works on WiFi, and Apple has explicitly stated that VOIP over WiFi is allowed - they wouldn't say that if AT&T were going to fight it. It's better for the telcos anyways - you're paying them your monthly rate regardless of whether you use their bandwidth, so the less you use, the more profit they take in.

Re:If so won't last long (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 5 years ago | (#27393373)

Putting Skype in the iPhone is like duct-taping a pistol to a machine gun.

Re:If so won't last long (1)

Viking Coder (102287) | more than 5 years ago | (#27393601)

Sure - but the pistol's bullets are free, and the machine gun's bullets are not.

Wait, this is seeming like a bad analogy...

My Question is This (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27391195)

Will you be able to receive Skype calls without the app running?

-Blake

Re:My Question is This (4, Informative)

mspohr (589790) | more than 5 years ago | (#27391273)

Skype will only use the WiFi network, not the 'unlimited' ATT data plan so you will only be able to use it while tethered to a local hotspot, not out roaming in the wild. ATT and Apple protect their revenue and force you to use your paid minutes instead of the 'unlimited' data plan that you are paying big bucks for...

Re:My Question is This (5, Interesting)

Wellington Grey (942717) | more than 5 years ago | (#27391861)

Skype will only use the WiFi network, not the 'unlimited' ATT data plan so you will only be able to use it while tethered to a local hotspot, not out roaming in the wild.

You've got to start somewhere. Telcos are not easy companies to change. But if Skype gets a small toehold, people will get used to their free phone calls on their mobiles. Soon, when the market penetration gets high enough, they'll start complaining about being tethered to one spot. Hopefully, that will forces the telcos to (slowly) change.

Re:My Question is This (1)

omeomi (675045) | more than 5 years ago | (#27391313)

Will you be able to receive Skype calls without the app running?

no

Re:My Question is This (1)

hattig (47930) | more than 5 years ago | (#27392543)

Presumably it would have background notifications with the next version of the OS - I just don't know if that would be 'real time' enough for receiving skype phone calls.

captain obvious: it'll never be full featured (4, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 5 years ago | (#27391241)

And this Skype client will never be full-featured because it would take revenue away from the phone company, who profits by selling voice plans. You might be thinking a data-only plan with a Skype client would save you money, but you'd be wrong: Apple doesn't want you to do that. AT&T doesn't either. Or any other wireless provider. Sure, we could invest in a decent wireless data architecture, but why do that when we know we can keep bumping up prices and not improving infrastructure, and then blaming "high consumption users" for the problem. You will pay, like the good consumer you are. Oh yes, you will pay.

Re:captain obvious: it'll never be full featured (1)

jhines0042 (184217) | more than 5 years ago | (#27391393)

The rich get rich and the poor get iPhones?

Re:captain obvious: it'll never be full featured (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27392965)

and the cops get paid
to look away
while the one percent
rules America

Re:captain obvious: it'll never be full featured (4, Interesting)

sfcat (872532) | more than 5 years ago | (#27391451)

The gphone has always had a skype client. This makes me wonder how carriers can continue this type of control of the cell phone platforms. Openness seems to have more of an advantage on the cell phones because of the tight control the telcos seem to try to enforce there. Is apple repeating the same mistake they made with the original Mac (trying to control both the hardware and software) vs android (runs on multiple types of hardware)? Or will the telcos desire for control keep the software closed?

Re:captain obvious: it'll never be full featured (1)

eleuthero (812560) | more than 5 years ago | (#27391937)

how is increasing market share against the dominant operating system corporation a mistake?

Re:captain obvious: it'll never be full featured (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27391945)

Apple currently controls both the hardware and the software of the current Mac, so it appears they are continuing what you call a mistake. This mistake has gotten them a larger share of the consumer market than Linux despite stiff price competition.

And the predictions for free phones have yet to come true. The Android phone(s) aren't exactly tearing things up and OpenMoko's, the one you guys were all excited about last year, may or may not actually be available, who really knows or cares.

To be successful a company is going to have to sell a phone to the masses. You people keep thinking the masses will one day demand software freedom. They won't. You can't even give it to them.

Re:captain obvious: it'll never be full featured (1)

Fjandr (66656) | more than 5 years ago | (#27392271)

Apple currently controls both the hardware and the software of the current Mac, so it appears they are continuing what you call a mistake. This mistake has gotten them a larger share of the consumer market than Linux despite stiff price competition.

What you seem to fail to realize is that Apple has market share because they have their own distribution channels. If they did not operate their own distribution channels, they would be in the same boat in regards to market share that Linux is.

Apple can make a profit because of the fairly aggressive markup that they put on their hardware+software combo. If a company invested as aggressively in marketing a Linux + hardware package, they might have as much success as Apple has had given as many years as Apple has been working their distribution channel. Until that happens, expect Linux on the desktop to be a significant minority. The potential is there, but what is missing is an actual competitive distribution channel.

Re:captain obvious: it'll never be full featured (1)

FictionPimp (712802) | more than 5 years ago | (#27392293)

Now lets just get tmobile to actually have a real 3g network (their 3g network is some small it is actually hard to find service anywhere but in major cities) and I would switch in a heart beat.

I can get verizon 3g service and att 3g service but no tmobile. I'll stick with 3g service thank you.

Re:captain obvious: it'll never be full featured (4, Interesting)

david.given (6740) | more than 5 years ago | (#27392535)

The gphone has always had a skype client.

No, it doesn't.

What it's got is a little application that makes a standard telephone call to a Skype server, which gateways your call onto the Skype network. Which means you use up mobile call time as well as Skype calltime. No VOIP is involved.

Right now we're unlikely to see an aftermarket Skype client for Android because you can't do aftermarket native code on Android yet. (You can only do native code on Android if it gets built in when the phone OS image is made, which means it has to be done by the phone provider... and I'm sure Skype are working on that right now.)

Re:captain obvious: it'll never be full featured (1)

mdm-adph (1030332) | more than 5 years ago | (#27393215)

No -- and I own a G1. It does NOT have a skype client -- it has a fake little program that dials a phone number and then further uses some magic to connect up to the skype network. It isn't true VOIP at all.

Re:captain obvious: it'll never be full featured (1)

hamburgler007 (1420537) | more than 5 years ago | (#27391453)

Given my 3G experience with AT&T, I don't think Skype would work very well over their wireless network anyway.

Re:captain obvious: it'll never be full featured (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27391831)

I disagree because I've used skype + the 3G connection on my G1 phone (through the tethering app) and it worked just fine, and I suspect T-Mobile's 3G network isn't any better than AT&T's

Re:captain obvious: it'll never be full featured (1)

hamburgler007 (1420537) | more than 5 years ago | (#27392463)

It might be limited to the device/location. I have an iphone in NYC and to say I find the internet connection disappointing would be an understatement.

Re:captain obvious: it'll never be full featured (1)

DrgnDancer (137700) | more than 5 years ago | (#27393401)

I'm extremely pleased with the 3G on my wife's iPhone (mine's a first gen, so it's a non-compete for that) here in Huntsville, AL. I've heard that the big city's (NYC, Chicago, Boston, Dallas, most of the West Coast, etc) can be badly under provisioned though. The only fairly large city we've visited since she got her phone has been Tampa though, and it was mostly OK there. There were a few times that it was only comparable with the Edge performance of my 1st gen phone, but even then it wasn't awful; just not as good as we were used to.

Re:captain obvious: it'll never be full featured (4, Interesting)

nvrrobx (71970) | more than 5 years ago | (#27391481)

I don't know about the "any other wireless provider" thing.

Look up UMA on T-Mobile. My BlackBerry Curve 8320 supports it, so I use my WiFi for voice calls when I'm at home.

AT&T may not want you to do that, but T-Mobile seems to be okay with it.

Re:captain obvious: it'll never be full featured (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27391983)

UMA usage still comes out of your normal T-Mobile minutes, unless you pay extra for the unlimited "Hotspot @ Home" plan.

When you make a Skype call, AT&T likely will not get to bill you for minutes spent talking on Skype. So while it spares their network a slight bit of bandwidth, AT&T also will lose a bit of income.

Re:captain obvious: it'll never be full featured (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27392065)

Yes, but you pay for Skype too, if you hit POTS, unless you're calling an 800 number. It's all relative here.

Re:captain obvious: it'll never be full featured (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 5 years ago | (#27392143)

Look up UMA on T-Mobile. My BlackBerry Curve 8320 supports it, so I use my WiFi for voice calls when I'm at home.

I have t-mobile. Their wireless offerings have the suck at least in the Minneapolis/St.Paul market. the latencies make skype unusable; web pages take 10-30 seconds to display, etc. And t-mobile's phones are generally as locked down as any other vendor. See also: Ringtones.

Re:captain obvious: it'll never be full featured (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 5 years ago | (#27391527)

You might be thinking a data-only plan with a Skype client would save you money, but you'd be wrong: Apple doesn't want you to do that. AT&T doesn't either.

I'm not sure Apple has much reason to keep you from doing that except for maintaining their relationship with AT&T, but in general you're right. But besides them not wanting you to do it, it's not clear to me that any mobile carrier's network is good enough to support it even if they were willing to allow it. Even current 3G networks pretty well stink.

Re:captain obvious: it'll never be full featured (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#27392167)

I'm not sure about the latest iPhones, but with the first revision Apple got a cut of the money AT&T collected from the contract, as well as the cost of the device. Anything that lets people spend less money with AT&T will harm their bottom line.

Not really sure I understand the attraction of this though. Nokia phones have come with a SIP client for a while, which lets you make VoIP calls and use any of a wide range of POTS bridges, rather than being locked in to a single one (Skype).

Re:captain obvious: it'll never be full featured (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 5 years ago | (#27392417)

I'm not sure about the latest iPhones, but with the first revision Apple got a cut of the money AT&T collected from the contract, as well as the cost of the device.

I believe that changed when AT&T started subsidizing the cost of the iPhone.

And ultimately I doubt Apple really wants to be a the mercy of a particular 3rd party vendor in order to provide service. They'd be much better off if there were ubiquitous high-speed wireless dumb pipes for which Apple could sell iPod Shuffles and forget about iPhones entirely. It's a better business for them to be in, and if they really wanted to lock you into a particular service, Apple could provide their own VoIP client and lock out other vendors (if that was really what they wanted to do). Then they could make all the money they're currently making out of the AT&T deal, plus the AT&T side of the profit.

Re:captain obvious: it'll never be full featured (1)

darjen (879890) | more than 5 years ago | (#27393123)

I have the $35/month data-only plan with AT&T and my nokia e71. Skype in and skype out works fine over 3g and fring's symbian app. Quality is not as good though, so I will probably switch to a SIP provider over Skype. Which is also more convenient since SIP stack is built right in to your contacts. All you have to do is configure your SIP gateway info, then select your contact and choose "internet call". Easy as pie.

What's the point of multitasking? (1, Troll)

Anita Coney (648748) | more than 5 years ago | (#27391517)

Since the iPhone does not allow for multiple programs running concurrently

What's the point of including multitasking if you cannot make it pretty and shiny? I applaud Apple for continuing the fight to keep our lives pretty and shiny rather than attempting to make our lives more efficient and easier to manage. I mean, let's be serious, isn't shiny and pretty the real reason we carry personal digital devices.

Re:What's the point of multitasking? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27391999)

Let's not forget them fighting the good fight, charging us users for unlocking the hardware we've already purchased. I mean, why SHOULDN'T they get another $10 for their hard work, uncrippling the BlueTooth chip that we've already payed for?

Besides... COPY PASTE! We're finally in the future of smartphones... of 1993... /bitter iPod Touch 2g owner.

Re:What's the point of multitasking? (1)

Anita Coney (648748) | more than 5 years ago | (#27392023)

"bitter iPod Touch 2g owner"

Er, you mean "shiny and pretty" iPod Touch 2g owner, right?

Re:What's the point of multitasking? (2, Insightful)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 5 years ago | (#27392577)

What's the point of including multitasking if you cannot make it pretty and shiny? I applaud Apple for continuing the fight to keep our lives pretty and shiny rather than attempting to make our lives more efficient and easier to manage. I mean, let's be serious, isn't shiny and pretty the real reason we carry personal digital devices.

It may be a limitation of the hardware or some other practical reason but the iPhone doesn't really multi-task. It only appears to do so using some hacks that Apple has done.

Re:What's the point of multitasking? (2, Interesting)

Anita Coney (648748) | more than 5 years ago | (#27392649)

In all seriousness , the reason the iPhone and the iPod Touch do not multitask is not related to hardware or software. The sole reason Apple enforces the no-multitask policy is to ensure that multiple running apps don't drag down the system. Apparently, WinCE has a tendency to be bogged down when running multiple apps and Apple wants to avoid that.

http://www.roughlydrafted.com/2008/03/13/iphone-20-sdk-the-no-multitasking-myth/ [roughlydrafted.com]

whut? (1)

sohp (22984) | more than 5 years ago | (#27391555)

Can someone explain to me why I'd want to make a phone call over a crappy VOIP system from a cell phone that I bought to be able to uh .. make phone calls?

Re:whut? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27391599)

It means people don't have to have expensive monthly service agreements. They can make lots of long calls from home using their wifi connection. As for crappy VOIP, that's baloney. VOIP quality is indistinguishable from regular calls.

VoIP quality depends on what your QoS handling is. (1)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 5 years ago | (#27391935)

As for crappy VOIP, that's baloney. VOIP quality is indistinguishable from regular calls.

That requires a minimum link speed and depends on what your carrier's QoS rules are (or if it's implemented).

If your VoIP packets get "best effort" service along with everything else you're sending/receiving (which is both typical with ISPs who didn't pay extra for QoS or configure it right and the fallout of the simple interpretation of "network neutrality"), you're hosed whenever things get congested.

Try running both a VoIP call and multiple big downloads on your home system simultaneously. Then tell us that "VOIP quality is indistinguishable from regular calls".

Unless the low-bandwidth stream of VoIP packets takes priority over the file transfer packets you'll get jitter, latency, and packet loss (as the VoIP packets wait behind varying numbers of file packets and the transfers ramp up until they experience packet loss - which means the VoIP experiences it, too). That will translate, at a minimum, into delay, which breaks the handoff dynamics of conversation. It will probably also result in dropouts, reconstruction artifacts, "Max Headroom" style repeats, etc. depending on how the VoIP application handles packet delivery flakeyness.

Re:whut? (1)

AndrewNeo (979708) | more than 5 years ago | (#27391623)

Doesn't cost minutes, text messages, etc.

Re:whut? (1)

orev (71566) | more than 5 years ago | (#27391629)

Because:
1) the quality of skype calls is far better than that of a phone call
2) skype to skype calls are free, and skype to outside phones is really really cheap
3) many people prefer to use skype because it is so much cheaper, and as a result do not have a regular phone or choose not to use it
4) Calls using Skype don't use up your cell phone minutes ... I'm sure i could go on..

Re:whut? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27391757)

most of these points were the same one: Skype saves money. Not that I don't agree but just letting you know that those are not all different points but just different ways of wording the same thing.

Re:whut? (1)

vux984 (928602) | more than 5 years ago | (#27391631)

Can someone explain to me why I'd want to make a phone call over a crappy VOIP system from a cell phone that I bought to be able to uh .. make phone calls?

Because the cell phone provider charges you an arm and a leg for phone calls. And all you REALLY want from them is cellular data so you can use a crappy voip system.

Cellular long distance rates are stupid high.

Even prime time cellular minutes stupid expensive unless you fit neatly into some bizarre rate plan dart board where you only call 5 friends during the day, and all your other calls are 'in-network', except on weekends...

That said, I'm not a fan of skype either...

Re:whut? (4, Insightful)

rob1980 (941751) | more than 5 years ago | (#27391671)

What if I'm abroad and have access to WiFi? No extortionate international charges through the provider, just power up Skype. This actually sounds like a good idea to me, since I'm studying abroad next year.

Re:whut? (3, Funny)

ratnerstar (609443) | more than 5 years ago | (#27391745)

What does being a woman have to do with you having access to WiFi?

Re:whut? (1)

Tibor the Hun (143056) | more than 5 years ago | (#27393017)

You're using the MS Text-to-Speech too?
I have a hell of a time when visiting therapistconnection.com too.

Re:whut? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27392239)

Not logging in since I'm at work.

It'll work abroad via WiFi for calling the US for sure. I did it with my Curve 8320, calling the US from an Apple store in Nagoya, Japan. Didn't try to get anyone to call ME from the US. But the phone behaves like you're IN the US. So, I couldn't make calls TO Japan (I had a crappy plan).

studying abroad (1)

OglinTatas (710589) | more than 5 years ago | (#27392437)

I was studying a broad last year and got slapped with a restraining order. I narrowly avoided an indictment for stalking. Be careful, my friend.

iPod Touch (2, Insightful)

yabos (719499) | more than 5 years ago | (#27393171)

You could make phone calls via the iPod Touch with an external microphone or on the new ones via the built in headphone microphone. Fring can do this already but when I tried it the call quality and lag was terrible(over wifi).

Re:whut? (1)

c1t1z3nk41n3 (1112059) | more than 5 years ago | (#27393191)

I'm spending a couple months in mexico right now. I can use skype on my iPhone for a couple cents a minute or pay AT&T a dollar fifty a minute. As it happens I'm using skype anyway from my pc to call back stateside but being able to wander the apartment and do it from my phone will be a great help to me.

Oh, look what Windows Mobile can do (3, Interesting)

AndrewNeo (979708) | more than 5 years ago | (#27391647)

I'll just keep using Skype with my Windows Mobile phone, then, which, by the way, lets me use it on the data network. (I've never tried, because we only have EDGE in my area) I'm not bashing either Skype or Apple (I love my iPod Touch, though it's a 1st gen so Skype wouldn't work with it anyway) but I still have my PSP as another Skype-capable device, too.

So (5, Funny)

castorvx (1424163) | more than 5 years ago | (#27391689)

If I use the Skype application to dial my AT&T cell phone number, does my iPhone detonate?

Re:So (1)

yabos (719499) | more than 5 years ago | (#27393183)

I tried that with Fring once and it works. My iPhone rang like normal.

iPod Touch (1)

polaris20 (893532) | more than 5 years ago | (#27391713)

I assume this will be supported on the iPod Touch as well, and if so, will be full of win. I can have most of the functionality of the iPhone with VoIP without the expense monthly fee.

iPod Touch - required hardware? (1)

dazedNconfuzed (154242) | more than 5 years ago | (#27391903)

I too would love to see Skype run on a Touch. Unfortunately, AFAIK, there is no audio input hardware (no Bluetooth support, no suitably wired plug).

So the geeky question is: what would be required to run Skype on an iPod Touch? I can see building a plug that would enable a Bluetooth headset for it. The final step then would be persuading Skype to support such a hack (er, 3rd-party product).

You can buy external mics for the Touch (2, Informative)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 5 years ago | (#27392103)

I too would love to see Skype run on a Touch. Unfortunately, AFAIK, there is no audio input hardware (no Bluetooth support, no suitably wired plug).

Any of the external dock based microphones will work on the Touch.

Re:iPod Touch - required hardware? (3, Informative)

EkriirkE (1075937) | more than 5 years ago | (#27392247)

The earpieces that come with the iphone (or suitable replacement) and its inline microphone work with the touch.

Depends on version (2, Informative)

dazedNconfuzed (154242) | more than 5 years ago | (#27392519)

Apparently the v2.0 hardware _does_ have mic & bluetooth support (requires v3.0 software to activate the BT), but not the v1.0 hardware (what I have now).

Re:iPod Touch - required hardware? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27392733)

http://www.dubdaily.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/switcheasy-thumbtacks-1.jpg

not a beautifull solution, but it should work

Re:iPod Touch - required hardware? (1)

mdm-adph (1030332) | more than 5 years ago | (#27393237)

You should try a program called "TruPhone" -- it's a UK company, has a program just like Skype, that allows you to make true VOIP calls with your Ipod Touch.

Only need Wifi (5, Interesting)

Crispix (864691) | more than 5 years ago | (#27391727)

The complaints about "shortcomings" are misguided.

I only need Skype in wifi hot spots. Domestically, I use my cell phone minutes for phone calls. If I need to call internationally from my iPhone, I use Skype-To-Go, their relay service.

I only need VOIP when I'm out of the country. I'm not going to use iPhone data roaming because it is too expensive. But there are plenty of free wifi spots around the globe.

Fring has been so unreliable for me, an official Skype client has me very excited. When I'm in Cabo or Canada (or anywhere overseas) for a weekend, and I want to call home, this is where a Skype client is perfect! Find a wifi hot spot and dial away!

it is available in Japan already... (1)

Wooky_linuxer (685371) | more than 5 years ago | (#27391865)

the news: seem to work over 3G and EDGE as well as Wifi. iPod Touch included. Chat included. Looks pretty decent to me. Some photos here: http://www.engadget.com/photos/skype-for-iphone-goes-live-in-japan/1460639/ [engadget.com]

Re:it is available in Japan already... (1)

Wooky_linuxer (685371) | more than 5 years ago | (#27391901)

ops, apparently access via 3G and EDGE is only for chat. Too good to be true...

Re:it is available in Japan already... (1)

ragethehotey (1304253) | more than 5 years ago | (#27392125)

Um, the wireless data infrastructure in Japan is FAR superior to what we have in the USA anyway, talk about an apples to oranges comparison.....

Re:it is available in Japan already... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27392211)

Jailbroken phones can use the VoipOver3G Cydia package to fool Skype into thinking 3G == Wifi, thus enabling Voice Over 3G.

My 2cs (1)

freeballer (1160851) | more than 5 years ago | (#27392761)

ok, first of all... I'm in the catagory of FINALLY!! Yes, I want sms. Yes, I want voicemail or other functionality but this is a mobile device AND its the first version.. MY biggest beef is that they couldn't get 3g working instead of just wifi?! wth? THAT seems kinda dumb to me, but its still going to replace nimbuzz and fring. They are already gone, as for multi-program, backgrounding.. I think it was idiotic for apple not to include even a limited running app version in fw v3 (maybee only allow 2-3 apps at a time) you all are still getting nearly free long distant/voip on an ipod/iphone... COMMON! wait til we see what happens

Phone carriers and data carriers (1)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 5 years ago | (#27393137)

I see a time when phone companies accept that there is much value in the data as the phone service. Actually, I already see this happening with phone companies offering wi-fi hotspots. In the meantime phone companies are going to drag their feet to maximise revenue from the existing system.

As bandwidth costs go down, it may work out to be cheaper in cities to install wi-fi locations, than installing cell phone towers, but until there are proper meshes we are unlikley to see this really work for moving phones. I often wonder whether IPv6 could solve part of the problem here? I would see each cell phone with its own unique IP address hoping from hotspot to hotspot.

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